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Build Your Dream Business Website

By Jim Traister
Table of Contents
Collaboration of office workers featured building a website

To start a small business is exciting, but building an online presence can be tough. A great website is key for any new business to stand out. This article will guide you through using Squarespace templates to create your dream website on your own.

Key Takeaways

  • Picking the right platform matters a lot for your website. Shopify, Squarespace, and WordPress are good choices. Each has special tools to help build your site.
  • Your domain name should be easy to remember and tell people what you do. Use keywords in it to boost your website on search engines like Google.
  • Making a site map helps visitors find their way around your website. Also, plan regular backups to keep your data safe from unexpected problems.
  • Adding quality content with the right keywords can drive more traffic to your site. Make sure it’s useful and interesting for your readers.
  • Keeping your website’s design mobile-friendly and fast-loading is key for a good visitor experience. Also, secure it well to protect user information.

Importance of a Business Website

A business website acts like a store that never closes. It lets customers visit anytime, from anywhere. This online shop can show off your brand and help you sell products or services around the clock.

With tools like Shopify and WordPress, creating a site is easier than ever. These platforms offer designs ready to use and simple ways to adjust them as needed.

Having a website also means you’re always findable on search engines like Google. When people look up something related to what you do, your site could pop up in their results. This boosts your chance of getting new customers without doing much extra work.

Plus, social media sites link back to your website, helping even more people find out about your business online.

What should you consider when designing a Business Website?

When designing a business website, it’s important to carefully select the platform and domain name. A well-thought-out site map and regular maintenance are also crucial for success.

Choosing the right platform

Picking the right platform for your website is key. Think about what you need. Do you want to sell products? Look at Shopify or WooCommerce. They let you create an online store easily.

For blogs or service pages, WordPress might be better. It’s good for SEO and customizing content.

Also, use industry filters on platforms to find what suits your business best. This helps narrow down choices and saves time. Your site should match your brand and goals, so choosing carefully matters a lot.

Each platform has its own tools for design, marketing strategies, and safety features like SSL certificates that protect visitor data. Pick one that aligns with your vision and audience needs.

How do you select a suitable domain name?

Choosing the right domain name is key for your online business. You want a name that’s easy to remember and tells people what you do. Think of keywords related to your services or products.

Use these in your domain to help boost your spot on search engines like Google. Make sure it’s short, catchy, and avoids hard-to-spell words.

Check if the domain name you want is available. Be creative but clear with your choice. Sometimes, adding small changes like “shop” or “online” can make all the difference.

Pick a name that grows with your business and matches its tone. A good domain sets you up for success from the start by making a strong first impression on web browsers and potential customers alike.

What is site map planning?

Site map planning helps guide visitors through your site. Think of it as a map for your website. This step lets you decide which pages are crucial and how they connect. You’ll pick pages that suit your business needs, like home, about us, contact information, and services or products offered.

It’s vital for good SEO because search engines use this layout to index your content better.

You also plan the journey you want visitors to take. Start with the main page and link to other important areas on your site. Use tools like metadata and sitemaps to make sure search engines find all your pages easily.

Planning ahead means you can build a website that is easy for people and search engines to navigate.

Content creation

Creating engaging and informative content is crucial for your business website to attract and retain potential customers. There are many types of quality digital content.

Quality content, enriched with relevant keywords such as “search engine optimization (SEO)” and “content marketing,” will help improve the visibility of your site on search engines like Google, driving more traffic.

Remember that user-generated content can also enhance customer engagement by allowing your audience to interact with your brand through reviews, comments, and social media shares.

Additionally, integrating multimedia elements like videos and infographics into your content ensures a dynamic and visually appealing experience for visitors, ultimately increasing their understanding of your products or services.

Furthermore, don’t overlook the significance of crafting compelling landing pages to be optimized.

These platforms offer easy-to-use layouts designed to complement your brand’s style while capturing the attention of potential customers right from their first visit to the site.

By tailoring each piece of content towards addressing the specific needs and pain points of your target audience within an ever-evolving online market, you’re not only enhancing customer satisfaction but also building trust in your brand – forging a path toward sustainable growth in this digital age.

Visual appeal and design

Create a unique and eye-catching look for your website by choosing the right color palette and font combination. Industry filters can help you accurately match your business needs with suitable page options, ensuring a tailored design that stands out from the competition.

Remember to use this process as an opportunity to develop a customized template that reflects your brand identity.

A great way to enhance the visual appeal of your website is by utilizing relevant facts about designing custom templates, especially selecting color palettes and font combinations.

What is the importance of Website security?

When building your business website, prioritize web security to protect sensitive data and customer information. Utilize secure HTTPS protocols, robust authentication measures, and regular software updates to prevent potential cyber threats.

Implementing a reliable backup system is crucial to safeguard against data loss due to unforeseen events like malware attacks or system failures. Moreover, consider partnering with platforms that offer built-in security features specifically designed for financial transactions and customer privacy protection. In addition, applications like a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and Cloudflare can really make an impact in the short and long run.

Why you need Regular maintenance and backup

Regularly back up your website data to protect against unexpected disasters. Ensure vital aspects for a successful business website, such as a website maintenance and backup strategy, are in place.

Our agency takes daily backups of our business client’s websites. This is important to ensure a consistent delivery of your brand, products and services to minimize interruption.

A positive user experience and to keep content details accurate and up to date is crucial to you and your customers.

Regularly backing up your website data helps protect it from unexpected disasters. Maintenance and backup strategies are essential for a successful business website, ensuring a positive user experience while keeping content details accurate and up to date.

What are some of the Best Platforms for Business Websites

When it comes to creating a business website, choosing the right platform is crucial.

Differentiating between Shopify, Squarespace, and WordPress can be challenging but ensuring it aligns with your business needs is essential.

Shopify

Shopify provides a customizable website builder with thousands of themes and integrates numerous apps. No coding skills are necessary to use Shopify’s website builder, although it allows editing HTML and CSS files for those with coding knowledge.

With Shopify, users can add unlimited products to their online store and seamlessly integrate online and offline sales using a point of sale system. The platform offers fraud analysis and is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant for all financial transactions, ensuring added security.

What are some of the Pros and Cons of choosing Shopify for your website design?

Make Things New
Pros Cons
User-Friendly Interface Monthly Fees
Easy to set up and use, even for beginners Shopify charges a monthly subscription fee, which can add up over time
Professional Templates Transaction Fees
Offers a variety of professional and customizable templates. Additional transaction fees if you don't use Shopify Payments.
Integrated Payment Options Limited Customization
Supports various payment methods including credit cards and PayPal Advanced customization might require coding knowledge or additional apps
App Store Cost of Add-Ons
Extensive app store to add functionality and features to your store Many apps come with additional costs, increasing overall expenses
24/7 Customer Support Learning Curve for Advanced Features
Provides round-the-clock support via chat, email, and phone Some advanced features and settings might require time to learn
Mobile-Friendly SEO Limitations
Responsive design templates that work well on mobile devices Certain SEO features are limited compared to other platforms
Secure and Reliable Content Management System (CMS) Limitations
Reliable hosting with security features to protect your store Less flexible CMS compared to platforms like WordPress for extensive content sites
Built-In Marketing Tools Migration Challenges
Includes marketing tools like SEO, email campaigns, and social media integration Moving your store to another platform can be challenging
Scalability No Email Hosting
Can grow with your business, supporting small to large online stores Does not provide email hosting as part of the package

Additionally, Shopify offers 24/7 support along with in-depth business guides and courses covering popular topics such as branding, marketing, SEO, social media strategy, and business growth.

Squarespace

Moving on from Shopify, let’s talk about Squarespace. Small business owners will find Squarespace beneficial due to its high-level support and user-friendly interface. Industry-specific page designs are readily available for various businesses, simplifying the selection process for users.

Moreover, there’s a step-by-step guide provided for choosing necessary website pages such as home pages, about pages, services, contact pages, blog pages, shops, resources pages, and 404 error pages.

After submission, the website template gets built behind the scenes and delivered within 48 hours. Upon completion of the template build-up process comes instant access to a resource library with tutorials on using Squarespace and preparing content and branding for your new site – all aiding in making it straightforward for independent business owners to set up their dream enterprise websites.

What are some of the Pros and Cons of choosing Shopify for your website design?

Make Things New
Pros Cons
User-Friendly Interface Monthly Fees
Easy to use with a drag-and-drop builder, ideal for beginners Squarespace charges a monthly subscription fee, which can be costly over time
Professional Templates Transaction Fees
Offers a wide range of sleek, professional, and customizable templates Additional transaction fees apply for e-commerce transactions unless using specific plans
All-in-One Platform Limited Customization
Includes hosting, domain registration, and SSL certificates in one package Advanced customization might be limited compared to platforms like WordPress
24/7 Customer Support Learning Curve for Advanced Features
Provides round-the-clock support via live chat and email Some advanced features and settings might require time to learn
Mobile-Friendly Cost of Add-Ons
Responsive design templates that work well on mobile devices Some advanced functionalities require purchasing additional plugins or third-party integrations
Built-In Marketing Tools SEO Limitations
Includes built-in SEO, analytics, and marketing tools SEO capabilities are good but might be less flexible than specialized SEO platforms
E-Commerce Capabilities Limited Integration Options
Supports e-commerce with features like inventory management and payment processing Integration options with third-party services and plugins are more limited compared to some other platforms
Security and Reliability Content Management System (CMS) Limitations
Secure hosting with SSL and reliable performance Less flexibility for content-heavy websites compared to platforms like WordPress
Creative Freedom Migration Challenges
Great for visually-driven businesses like portfolios, photography, and design Moving your site to another platform can be difficult and time-consuming
Scalability No Free Plan
Can scale with your business, supporting small to large websites Does not offer a free plan, only a free trial period

WordPress

After considering platforms for your business website, let’s delve into WordPress. It offers a range of themes and customization options to tailor your website to match your brand and vision.

This user-friendly platform doesn’t require coding skills, making it an easier tool for independent business owners to design and nurture their websites with drag-and-drop functionality. WordPress also ensures the security of financial transactions on your site, offering a variety of free and paid plugins to enhance website functionality according to search engine optimization (SEO) needs.

WordPress allows full customization for both small businesses and enterprise-level ventures, provides secure financial transactions, and offers easy management without requiring coding skills while enhancing SEO capabilities through various plugins. Those are the reasons we offer WordPress Designs with our website packages.

What are some of the Pros and Cons of choosing WordPress for your website design?

Make Things New
Pros Cons
Highly customizable, allowing you to tailor the website to your brand's exact needs Can be complex for beginners, requiring a learning curve to master
Cost-Effective Maintenance
WordPress itself is free, and you can find affordable hosting plans Requires regular updates and maintenance to ensure security and performance
SEO-Friendly Themes Potential Additional Costs
Many themes are highly optimized and acceptable to search engines, improving your SEO efforts Costs can add up for premium themes, plugins, and professional assistance
Large Community and Support Security Vulnerabilities
Extensive community support, forums, and tutorials available Being a popular platform, it can be a target for security threats if not properly maintained
E-Commerce Capabilities Hosting Dependency
Supports e-commerce with plugins like WooCommerce You need to manage your own hosting, which can vary in reliability and performance
Full Control No Built-In Support
Full control over every aspect of your website, including design and functionality Does not include built-in customer support; you rely on community and third-party services
Scalability Plugin Compatibility Issues
Can grow with your business, from small sites to large e-commerce platforms Some plugins might conflict with each other or require compatibility adjustments
Responsive Design Initial Setup Complexity
Many themes are mobile-friendly and responsive Initial setup can be more complex compared to other platforms, especially for those unfamiliar with web development
Content Management System (CMS) Performance Optimization Needed
Robust CMS capabilities for managing various types of content Requires optimization for performance, especially as your site grows
Integration with Third-Party Services Limited Built-In Features
Integrates with numerous third-party services and tools Out of the box, WordPress may lack some features that other platforms offer without plugins

Why does our agency specifically choose WordPress to build affordable website designs?

Why WordPress is the Best Choice:

WordPress stands out as the best choice for an affordable business website design due to its unparalleled flexibility and customization options. It allows us to tailor your website precisely to your brand’s needs, offering thousands of themes and plugins to enhance functionality.

Many of these themes are optimized for SEO, ensuring better visibility on search engines. Additionally, WordPress is cost-effective, with the core software being free and affordable hosting and maintenance options available.

The extensive community support and vast array of resources make it easier to find help and solutions, despite the steeper learning curve.

WordPress also provides full control over every aspect of your site, making it scalable and adaptable as your business grows. Its robust CMS capabilities and integration with third-party services further enhance its appeal, making it a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to establish a strong online presence.

Steps to Create a Business Website

First, clarify your website’s purpose to guide its design and content. Next, secure a domain name and web hosting for your site. Then customize the website, add high-quality content, and launch it into the online realm of business.

Determining the website's purpose

A business website’s purpose guides its design, content, and functionality. This aligns with the overarching goals of your business. Setting specific and measurable goals for your website is crucial for its success.

Understanding your website’s purpose helps you tailor it towards achieving specific targets that seamlessly link with your business objectives. Hence, a clear purpose forms the foundation for an effective and goal-oriented business website.

Purchasing domain name and web hosting

To create your business website, purchasing a domain name and web hosting is crucial. Your domain name is your web address, so choose one that reflects your business and is easy to remember.

Ensure reliable web hosting for optimal site performance and security. Consider using well-established platforms such as Shopify, Squarespace, or WordPress for hassle-free domain registration and hosting services.

Once you’ve secured these essentials, you can move forward with designing and customizing your website to represent your brand effectively.

Customizing and designing the website

After purchasing your domain name and web hosting, it’s time to focus on customizing and designing your website. This step is crucial for creating a unique online presence tailored towards your target audience.

Consider using responsive design and SEO marketing tools to ensure your site ranks well in search engine results. Additionally, integrating e-commerce features can help drive sales and conversions, while ensuring a mobile-friendly experience for potential customers.

As you embark on customizing and designing your website, keep in mind the importance of integrating social media marketing tools such as Facebook advertising and Instagram hashtags to increase site traffic.

You’ll want to create an intuitive checkout process along with robust analytics for tracking performance. Moreover, incorporating chatbots can enhance customer support by providing real-time assistance to visitors on your site.

By meticulously tailoring every aspect of your website design, you’ll be better positioned to compete effectively in the ever-evolving realm of online entrepreneurship.

Adding high-quality content

When it comes to adding high-quality content, focus on creating relevant and engaging material for your website. Utilize SEO best practices by incorporating keywords in your content to improve search engine ranking.

Ensure your content is valuable, informative, and meets the needs of your target audience.

Moreover, integrating data-driven insights can help tailor your content towards what resonates with your audience. This not only enhances user experience but also establishes credibility and authority in the realm of online communities.

Launching the website

After designing your business website, it’s time to launch your website! This crucial step introduces your site to the world. Consider optimizing for SEO and integrating with Google My Business.

Additionally, ensuring mobile responsiveness is vital for reaching a wider audience. Remember that regular backups are essential for safeguarding all your hard work against unforeseen issues.

It’s not merely about making your site live but also being prepared to handle potential technical challenges that may arise during this phase.

Website Design Checklist

This comprehensive checklist ensures that your business website is user-friendly, optimized
Make Things New
Website Design Checklist item Details Completed
Choose a Mobile-Responsive Design Ensure your website looks great on all devices, including smartphones and tablets
- Use a responsive theme or template Select a theme that automatically adjusts to different screen sizes and orientations
- Test your site on various devices and screen sizes Use tools like BrowserStack or real devices to check your site's appearance and functionality
Optimize Your Site for Search Engines (SEO) Use relevant keywords, meta tags, and backlinks to improve visibility
- Conduct keyword research to find relevant terms for your content Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to identify popular search terms in your niche
- Use meta tags, including title tags and meta descriptions, for each page Ensure each page has unique and descriptive meta titles and descriptions that include target keywords
- Build quality backlinks from reputable sites Focus on obtaining links from authoritative and relevant websites to boost your SEO ranking
- Create and submit an XML sitemap to search engines Use plugins like Yoast SEO to generate a sitemap and submit it through Google Search Console
Ensure Easy Navigation Organize your content logically and provide clear calls to action for visitors.
- Use a simple, clean menu structure Design a straightforward navigation menu with minimal layers to make it easy for users to find information
- Include a search bar for easy content discovery Add a search functionality to help users quickly locate content within your site
- Use clear, concise labels for menu items Ensure menu items are labeled with simple and descriptive terms that accurately reflect the content
- Highlight important pages and actions with prominent buttons or links Use call-to-action buttons that stand out and guide users towards key actions like signing up or making a purchase
Prioritize Fast Loading Times Optimize images, cache content, and choose a reliable hosting provider
- Compress and optimize images for web use Use tools like TinyPNG or plugins like Smush to reduce image file sizes without losing quality
- Enable browser caching and use a content delivery network (CDN) Implement browser caching and use CDNs like Cloudflare to speed up content delivery to users worldwide
- Minimize the use of heavy scripts and plugins Limit the number of plugins and scripts to only those necessary for your site's functionality
- Choose a hosting provider known for fast performance and reliability Opt for reputable hosting providers that offer robust performance, like makethingsnew.com
Secure Your Website Use an SSL certificate to protect user data and build trust with your audience
- Install and configure an SSL certificate Obtain an SSL certificate from your hosting provider or a third-party service and ensure it is properly installed
- Regularly update your software, including CMS, plugins, and themes Keep your WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated to the latest versions to protect against vulnerabilities
- Use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) Implement strong password policies and enable 2FA for added security
- Implement security plugins or services to monitor and protect your site Use security plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri to provide ongoing monitoring and protection against threats
Regularly Update and Maintain Your Website Keep it secure and running smoothly
- Schedule regular backups of your website data Use plugins like UpdraftPlus to automate backups and ensure you can restore your site if needed
- Monitor website performance and fix any issues promptly Regularly check site performance using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and address any identified issues
- Keep your content fresh and relevant by updating it regularly Regularly add new blog posts, update outdated information, and keep your content aligned with current trends
- Review and update plugins, themes, and CMS regularly to ensure compatibility and security Regularly review and update all site components to maintain functionality and security
Additional Considerations
- Legal Compliance Ensure your website complies with legal requirements, such as GDPR for data protection
- Implement privacy policies, cookie notices, and obtain user consent where necessary
- Accessibility Make your website accessible to users with disabilities by following web accessibility guidelines (WCAG)
- Use tools like WAVE or Lighthouse to audit your site's accessibility and make necessary improvements
- Analytics Set up analytics tools like Google Analytics to monitor and analyze your website traffic and user behavior
- Regularly review analytics data to understand user behavior and make data-driven decisions
- Content Strategy Develop a content strategy to ensure consistent, valuable, and relevant content for your audience
- Plan and schedule content updates, blog posts, and marketing campaigns to keep your audience engaged
- Brand Consistency Ensure that your website design, content, and messaging are consistent with your brand identity
- Use consistent colors, fonts, and imagery that align with your brand guidelines
- Social Media Integration Integrate social media buttons and feeds to increase engagement and shareability of your content
- Add social sharing buttons and embed social media feeds to keep your content interactive and engaging

Are there some Free Website Options for Businesses?

When creating a business website, consider free options like Wix or Weebly. These platforms offer user-friendly templates and easy customization. You can also use WordPress.com for a variety of free themes and plugins to enhance your site’s functionality.

Start building your business website today with these cost-effective and accessible options. Whether it’s Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.com, you can create a professional online presence without breaking the bank.

Conclusion

Follow these practical steps for creating a stunning and effective online presence. With the right platform and design considerations, you’ll be set for success.

Don’t forget the importance of regular maintenance and security! Explore user-friendly options like Shopify, Squarespace, and WordPress for hassle-free website creation. Remember, your website represents your brand – make it count!

Picture of Jim Traister
Jim Traister

Founder & CEO

Jim is the CEO and founder of MakeThingsNew, a digital marketing agency he launched to provide services such as affordable website design, website maintenance, web hosting, email marketing, and ongoing SEO for his client’s projects. He earned a Master of Business with a specialization in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix. Jim launched his first digital marketing agency in 2012 and has since dedicated himself to serving independent business owners. Additionally, he has taught at the college and university level for several years, teaching courses such as Information Technology in Hospitality and Tourism, Marketing, and more. Prior to opening his first marketing agency in 2012, Jim had accumulated over sixteen years of business experience.

Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

Start by making a business plan which is focused on your website objectives. These would include: your target audience, marketing strategy, and what you want your site to achieve. Then, choose the right tools for web design and ecommerce platforms.

Yes! Doing keyword research and applying SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques can boost your site’s visibility on Google, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and other search engines to attract more visitors.
Absolutely! Platforms like Kickstarter and AngelList can provide financial support through crowdfunding. Also, using LinkedIn for networking and sharing knowledge about your startup can draw attention to your site.
Consider integrating a POS system for ease of use in transactions. Use marketing campaigns that include pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google Ads or collaboration with influencers to drive traffic and sales.
Yes! Tools like ChatGPT or Gemini can assist in generating content, while eCommerce solutions cater specifically to online stores’ needs. Networking sites such as Entrepreneur.com also offer valuable resources, including advice on business models and collaboration opportunities.